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Bee Keeping

Zephyr

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Weeding is the mark of "civilization". To demarcate a space in which the naturally dominant powers are consistently removed in order to cultivate more rarified, possibly fragile-but-useful strains. Traits start to 'wander' from species to species as the bees cross polinate different forms... There is an overall geneological drift that can be directed through selection of proximate specimens, and no doubt also influenced by the specifics of the bee or wasp species. It would be interesting to raise bees as well as keep a lab-garden. I wonder if some are better cross-polinators than others.

-A-
 

Awani

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Bees sounds like a cool idea.

Royal Jelly has always fascinated me!

Royal jelly has been reported as a possible immunomodulatory agent in Graves' disease. It has also been reported to stimulate the growth of glial cells and neural stem cells in the brain. To date, there is preliminary evidence that it may have some cholesterol-lowering, anti-inflammatory, wound-healing, and antibiotic effects, though the last three of these effects are unlikely to be realized if ingested (due to the destruction of the substances involved through digestion, or neutralization via changes in pH). There are also some preliminary experiments (on cells and lab animals) in which royal jelly may have some benefit regarding certain other diseases, though there is no solid evidence for those claims, and further experimentation and validation would be needed to prove any useful benefit. Royal jelly can also be found in some beauty products.

Royal jelly may cause allergic reactions in humans ranging from hives, asthma, to even fatal anaphylaxis.[The incidence of allergic side effect in people that consume royal jelly is unknown, however it has been suggested that the risk of having an allergy to royal jelly is higher in people who already have known allergies. - source

Bees and Masons go hand in hand as you know!

:cool:
 
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Zephyr

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I am also wondering about how many hives I would need to keep (and I AM in a city), in order to produce enough honey to brew mead. I LOVE mead.
-A-
 

theFool

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Bees sounds like a cool idea.

Royal Jelly has always fascinated me!

I think also that Royal Jelly is an elixir of life. It gives stamina and you can feel the effects right after the first dosage (as long as it is fresh). It is not some kind of placebo. Maybe that's why beekepers live long lives. It would be interesting as a material to work alchemically too.
 

Awani

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Maybe that's why beekepers live long lives. It would be interesting as a material to work alchemically too.

How could you approach it from an alchemical perspective? How about the ash from Royal Jelly a la spagyrics?

:cool:
 

theFool

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How could you approach it from an alchemical perspective? How about the ash from Royal Jelly a la spagyrics?
Hmm, the first thing that comes in my mind (ok, don't laugh) is to see if it dissolves gold leaf and extracts a red tinge. I think this matter is perfect enough by itself. Some spagyrics performed on it may ruin it, and it is expensive.
 

Zephyr

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Okay... I know nothing whatsoever about practical alchemy in the literal sense. You guys will have to give me a step-by-step "for dummied" primer.

I just thought of something... Imagine a MEAD brewed from royal jelly!
-A-
 

Awani

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Zephyr

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To make a mead, you would have to get a whole lot of honey, or royal jelly, dilute it into about 5 gallons of water in a big bucket or glass carboy, and introduce a yeast. Then you'd seal the bucket/carboy, while the yeast converts the sugar to alchohol and produces CO2 as a bi-product. Then you'd siphon the fermented honey into another bucket to filter any sludge out and let it sit for a while before bottling it. Mead is best after several years. I am not 100% sure of the details, i'd have to look them up, but this is how you'd do it. I personally would add fresh strawberry juice or somesuch to the mix, and would probably 'prime' the mead before bottling. The yeast has a cycle where after it consumes all the sugars it will go dormant, so if you add sugar, it will re-activate. This means that if you add sugar, and then bottle it, it will carbonate inside the bottles. Again, not sure exactly how to do a mead, but I suspect it would be like this.


-A-
 

Awani

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They are number one. I’m getting a hive at some point.
 

elixirmixer

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If you are interested in getting just the one hive, then you definitely want "The Flow Hive"

There is a 3D printed lattice inside that allows the bee keeper to simply turn a knob and extract the honey without disrupting the bees.


Also, in terms of Spagyrics, there is a specific "recipe" to work with honey in the "Art of Distillation"

THE QUINTESSENCE OF HONEY IS MADE THUS
Take of the purest honey two pounds, and of fountain water one pound. Boil these
together until the water be boiled away, taking off the scum that rises. Then take
the honey and put it into a glass, four parts of five being empty. Close it well and
set it in digestion a whole year and you shall have the essence of honey swimming
on the top in form of an oil, being of as fragrant smell as anything in the world.


There are a few different recipes in that book. This is my favourite.
 

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Kiorionis

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They are number one. I’m getting a hive at some point.

If you are interested in getting just the one hive, then you definitely want "The Flow Hive"

My sister's boyfriend is a Master Beekeeper, and he has told me many times that the Flow Hives are not good for the colony. There is no management in the honey extraction because it all flows out, and the bees are left with very little.

He would suggest using the standard Langstroth Hive if you want to have honey from them, but also preserve their colony.

If you're looking just to keep bees as pollinators, he would suggest some sort of Natural Hive built from an old tree trunk.
 

Awani

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If you're looking just to keep bees as pollinators…

I want that liquid gold. Muhahaha…
 

Awani

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I am becoming a Bee Keeper this spring. In honor of that new adventure here's a little report on the importance of bees, bee keeping and honey.


The bee: Prima Materia
While it might be challenging to proclaim a single species as the most important in the world, bees are often highlighted as crucial pollinators playing a key role in the ecosystems they inhabit. Their tireless work ensures the reproduction of many plants, which in turn support a multitude of other species, including humans, by contributing to diverse food sources and habitats. Without these small but mighty insects, entire food chains and ecological balances could be disrupted.

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The Egyptians
Several ancient societies revered the bee, viewing it with religious or cultural significance. The ancient Egyptians, for instance, believed bees were born from the tears of Ra, the sun god, and considered them divine messengers. Symbols of bees were commonly found in Egyptian iconography, representing royalty and power. Similarly, in Greek mythology, bees were associated with Artemis, the goddess of the wilderness, and were often thought to possess an otherworldly wisdom. These cultures celebrated the bee not only for its role in pollination but also for its symbolic ties to community, diligence, and harmony.

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Shamanism
In shamanistic practices, which are prevalent among indigenous cultures worldwide, bees are often revered as messengers between the natural world and the spiritual realm. Shamans, regarded as healers and seers within their communities, sometimes look to bees as guides or totems, attributing to them the ability to travel between different planes of existence due to their profound role in pollination and sustaining life. The bee’s tireless work ethic and communal lifestyle could also mirror the shaman’s journey of service to their community, emphasizing the importance of each individual's contributions to the well-being of the group.

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Freemasonry
The connection between bees and the ancient craft of Freemasonry is both profound and symbolic. Freemasons, with their storied history of symbolism and allegory, often draw upon the bee as an emblem of industry, harmony, and cooperation. The beehive, in particular, represents a model of an ideal society for Masons, one where all members work collectively for the common good. It reflects the Masonic principles of mutual support and the belief that the welfare of the community prevails over individual interests. Freemasons in their lodges aim to replicate the industrious and collaborative spirit of a beehive, underlining the importance of each member's contribution to the collective success of the order.

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Sacred Geometry
The profound connection between bees and sacred geometry is yet another facet of these remarkable insects that continues to fascinate scientists and naturalists alike. The honeybee's use of hexagons in honeycomb construction is not only an architectural marvel but also an example of nature's efficiency. This geometric shape is known for its strength and maximization of space with minimal material, representing a design that mathematicians label as the "honeycomb conjecture." Sacred geometry, a term used to describe patterns and designs that are foundational to the structure of the universe, sees the hexagon as a symbol of harmony and balance. Bees instinctively create these patterns in their hives, embodying a natural order that resonates with principles revered in sacred geometry.

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Hinduism
In Hinduism, the bee occupies a place of honor, seen as a symbol of love and also associated with the god Vishnu, Krishna, and Kama, the god of love. The buzzing of the bee is sometimes related to the vital spiritual concept of 'Aum,' the sacred sound of the universe, representing the essence of ultimate reality or consciousness. Moreover, in some Indian traditions, the bee on a lotus represents the heart's ability to unfold its inner potential through the practice of yoga.

bhramari-devi.jpeg

Buddhism
In Buddhism, bees are often admired for their role in the ecosystem and their non-violent nature in gathering nectar, reflecting the Buddhist principle of ahimsa, meaning 'non-harm.' The bee's laborious lifestyle and their communal and harmonious way of living are frequently highlighted in Buddhist texts as an example of how individuals should strive to coexist peacefully and work diligently toward the collective good.

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Christianity
Bees and their honey have also found a significant place within Christian symbolism. In the Christian context, bees are often seen as emblematic of purity and the soul's immortality, mirroring the Virgin Mary's purity and sweetness. Honey, with its natural sweetness, becomes a metaphor for the spiritual sweetness of Christ's teachings and the goodness of His words. Moreover, the industrious nature of bees resonates with Christian values of hard work and perseverance. Throughout monastic history, monks kept bees not only for the practical benefits of wax and honey but also as a reflection of living in accordance with nature, under the divine order. The bee's ability to transform nectar into honey is likened to the Christian's spiritual journey of transforming life's experiences into spiritual wisdom.

Islam
In Islamic culture, bees hold a significant and revered status as well, which is reflected in the teachings of the Quran. The holy book has an entire chapter named "An-Nahl," which translates to "The Bee," indicating their reverence in Islamic thought. The chapter underscores the virtue of bees and how their behavior is a sign of divine inspiration, drawing parallels to humans who strive for purity in their actions and intentions. Muslims consider the honey produced by bees to be a healing substance and a gift from Allah, symbolizing health and sustenance. This deep respect for bees in Islam extends to the practice of beekeeping, which is seen as not only an agricultural pursuit but also a spiritual one, with the intricate laws of nature being beautifully manifested within the life of a bee and the structure of their hives.

Alchemy
In alchemy, the bee embodies transformation, moving from flower to flower, akin to the alchemist's quest for turning base metals into gold. Some secret societies and mystery schools have used the bee and the beehive as emblems of a well-ordered society, with the beehive often representing the ideal structure of the cosmos and the bee, an individual working for the good of the community. This occult symbology highlights the bee's role in broader metaphysical concepts and spiritual teachings, where they are sometimes seen as messengers between the physical world and the spiritual realm.

The Beekeeper
The relationship between bees and their beekeeper is one of mutual benefit and subtle communication. Beekeepers serve as stewards of the hive, diligently tending to the bees' needs and fostering an environment where the colony can thrive. They monitor the health of the bees, protect them from pests and diseases, and provide them with additional food during scarcities. The bees, in return, offer the beekeeper the sweet rewards of honey and the products of their labor.

An enthralling custom in the intimate bond between beekeepers and their hives is the tradition known as "telling the bees." Rooted in folklore, if a beekeeper passes away, it is believed that the bees must be informed of their keeper's death. This ritual involves going to the hives, speaking gently to the bees, and perhaps draping the hives in black. It is a testament to the respect and love beekeepers hold for their charges and an acknowledgment of the deep connection that is felt. Failing to tell the bees was thought to risk them leaving the hive or stopping honey production, an omen of further misfortune. This custom underscores the symbiotic relationship humans share with these creatures and highlights a profound understanding of stewardship and communion with nature.

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Honey
Beyond its sublime sweetness, honey is revered for its health benefits, packed with antioxidants that provide protective effects for the heart and can improve cholesterol levels. It also acts as a natural cough suppressant and aids in alleviating sore throats. Moreover, honey's antibacterial and antifungal properties make it a natural healer, accelerating the repair of wounds when used topically. Regular consumption of small quantities of local honey may even help develop immunity against seasonal allergies, creating a natural defense against pollen indigenous to the area.

Royal Jelly
Royal jelly, a milky secretion produced by worker honeybees, is revered for its purported health benefits and is often dubbed a "superfood." It serves as the exclusive nourishment for the queen bee throughout her lifespan and is responsible for her remarkable size, fertility, and longevity compared to other bees. Rich in proteins, carbohydrates, fats, and vitamins, royal jelly is believed to enhance immune functions, lower cholesterol, and have anti-inflammatory properties. These characteristics have made it a sought-after ingredient in dietary supplements and beauty products, though scientific evidence to fully substantiate these claims is still in development. Nevertheless, royal jelly's unique composition continues to intrigue researchers and wellness enthusiasts alike.

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Bee stings
While honey offers undeniable health benefits, there is a rising interest in the therapeutic potential of bee stings, known as apitherapy. Contrary to the instinctive urge to avoid a bee sting, the venom released during the sting has been found to contain anti-inflammatory substances such as melittin. This compound may offer relief to those suffering from chronic inflammatory diseases like arthritis. Research suggests that, in controlled dosages, bee venom can help reduce inflammation and alleviate pain, although individuals should always consult a healthcare professional before considering such treatments due to the risk of severe allergic reactions.

Endangered
Yet, as fundamental as bees are in the web of life, contributing greatly to ecological balance and human agriculture through their role in pollination, they face an array of threats that risk their survival. Habitat loss, pesticides, climate change, and diseases are decimating bee populations at an alarming rate, sounding the alarm for urgent conservation efforts.

Beekeeping plays a pivotal role in saving these crucial pollinators, providing safe havens where they can thrive and continue to contribute to a healthy ecosystem. By maintaining and protecting hives, beekeepers ensure the continuation of plant diversity, stable crop yields, and the natural production of foods. Furthermore, beekeeping can foster sustainable livelihoods, empower communities, and is intrinsic to maintaining the delicate balance our world so deeply depends on.

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Written with the aid of Artificial Intelligence.
 

Awani

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Found this online. An alchemy symbol of honey apparently. I do not know if this is a modern invention or a "real" symbol of history. Seems a bit "messy" to be real.
 

Blacksmith

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eu tryied bee keeping for about half a year with native bees , suddenly all of them died.
 

Awani

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Probably America Foulbrood. If bee hive gets disease it needs to burn.
 

Awani

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This weekend I’m visiting an experienced bee keeper to learn the ropes. Soon the liquid gold shall flow. 🐝

I love starting a new journey. To know I am a novice but at the same time know that one day, years from now, I will bee a Master Bee Keeper.

It’s been many years to reach this point. Finally the wait is over.

😎
 

Lakshmana

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Good luck with bee keeping, honey is my favorite superfood!
 

Appleheads

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Bee keeping is great, I have built my own frames and hives but I am leaning toward making hexagonal hives in the future, as that seams to BEE the way they naturally build. Forgoing the expensive wax starters and annoying frames. The design is quite simple to construct.



If you have bears around like I do, electric fences do not always keep the big bears out. To remedy that problem take thick rubber mats like used in horse stalls, and put hundreds of nails pointing upwards and put the mats around the hives. When the bear smells the comb, it tries to walk towards it but continually gets pricked by the nails.

Also using cannabis as the smoke when you check the hive, makes the bee's docile perhaps, but I notice that the productivity and the speed of which they work increases. Perhaps they get the munchies? Cannabis makes the hives produce 12X as much as other smokes.


I disagree with Missy bee's sentiment that drones are "powerless", but I enjoy their bouncing bubbly personalities. It was a game changer, and can give a bee keeper a leg up among the competition.

I wish you well in your endeavor, always need more bee keepers.
 

Awani

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Looks cool. I think I go "traditional" while I learn... and once I feel more confident I can go wild with it.
 

Awani

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It begins! 😉🐝

Went to a local bee keeping skill share.
 

Awani

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🐝 News!

Looking through the bee keeping tools I need I was surprised to discover one tool is the bain marie; invented by legendary alchemist Mary about 1700 years ago.